You are pregnant. You are in a happy place. Nothing like some soulful music to further elevate your spirits. Does your baby also listen and enjoy this music? And if so are there things you should be careful about while you play music?
Let us try and answer these questions.
- How to play music for your unborn baby: You can use your phone, laptop, iPod, CD player or radio. Let it play in the background as you go about your day. Remember, using headphones on your stomach is a bad idea. It might over stimulate your baby. Amniotic fluid is a good conductor of sound, so there is no need to put the headphones on your belly or turn up the volume on your device.
- How loud can the music be: Do not play music louder than 65 decibels as otherwise it might startle the baby. But if you are listening to music for a prolonged period of time, then keep the level at 50 decibels. Studies show that babies who have been exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time have lower birth rates, are prone to premature delivery and have increased the frequency of hearing impairment at birth. However, here we are talking about women who work for prolonged periods in a loud environment, not about an occasional rock concert.
- What kind of music should you play? Play lullabies, classical music or any other soothing music. Avoid heavy metal, rock and other jarring music.
Having decided that, let us look at the benefits of listening to music during pregnancy:
- Improves your baby’s hearing capability. When you listen to music with earphones it increases the hearing capabilities and concentration skills of the baby. Although research is yet to completely prove this, many people believe it to be true. After the 28th week, hearing is completely developed for your baby.Listening to music in the womb enhances your baby’s ability to concentrate.
- Improves fetal body movements. Again while not conclusively proven, it is observed that the baby reacts to and moves when listening to some sounds. Music will help your baby react and can improve your baby’s movements. Listen to music with earphones for better effects.
- Calms babies even after birth. It is said that your baby will remember the music you played for them in the womb. After birth, the same music helps them calm down. The music can act as lullaby as well.
You do not need a reason to play music while you are pregnant. Do it because you enjoy it, rather than to make your baby smarter. Music can help you relax, fall asleep, or perk you up when you are fighting the pregnancy blues. When you relax it is good for your baby anyway. And if you happen to give birth to the next A.R.Rehman or Lata Mangeshkar, well, so much better,